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Attention To Ads

( Originally Published 1898 )

People used to say:

"Oh, I never pay any attention to advertisements; they never tell the truth."

Now it's different; people do read advertisements,and they believe them. Advertisers are becoming more careful and more scrupulously truthful every day.

I know a firm of advertising agents who also own a medicated soap. I said:

"Is it really such a wonderful thing, and do you take the care you say you do in making it?"

The answer was:

"Of course it is a good thing. We have seen too much of advertising to be fools enough to spend money pushing a poor article."

Most all advertisers understand this nowadays, and that is why it pays better than it used to.

The best place to put an advertisement is in the paper that enjoys the confidence of the community. I believe that the standing of the paper reflects on the advertisements it carries. There is another thought which never occurred to me,but whic which was conveyed in a remark recently made to me by Mr. M. M. Gillam, the advertising manager at Wanamaker's. He said:

"A sleepy paper gathers a sleepy constituency. An alert, wideawake, progressive sheet gets readers who like that sort of thing—or lifts them to its level."

Wideawake people are the ones most influenced by advertising—progressive people, who are not afraid of a new thing or a new idea; people who believe in the paper they read because they have learned to rely on it. Depend upon this. If the editorials carry weight, the ads will pay. Put your trust and your money in that sort of a paper.

Occasionally an advertisement will fall flat. The wise man looks for the reason. He doesn't say blindly: " Advertising doesn't pay. " He looks at the condition of general trade, at the weather, at the goods and the price and the way the ad was worded.

This is certain: A readable ad in a readable paper will be read. Probably not by all of the readers of the paper, but by a sufficient number to make the ad pay if the goods are right. No doubt about it whatever. It's as sure as sunshine. A cloudy day comes sometimes, but it doesn't stay long.

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